Economic Implications of the War on Drugs

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HotRocks's picture
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Joined: Mar 9 2009
Posts: 25
Economic Implications of the War on Drugs

Interesting and research-rich read, Because We Destroyed Ourselves:

But so what. It’s not like the War on Drugs, begun almost two generations ago in 1973, has done anything to increase the growing level of economic disparity in America… right?

A lot happened in 1973.

It was a few years after Nixon slammed the gold window shut, the waning hours of a decapitated Civil Rights movement, when the kindling of an energy crisis was beginning to pile up, and the year that marks our disentanglement from Vietnam.

But it also marks the genesis of the War on Drugs, the year the Rockefeller Drug Laws were passed. And that same year, something funny happened: the income gap between black and white begins to widen back out, instead of closing – as it had been up until 1973.

Is that just a coincidence, or is there demonstrable cause-and-effect at work? Did the start of the War on Drugs play a significant role in creating our present economic and social realities – where the average black family has eight-cents of wealth for every dollar owned by whites, and a black child is nine-times as likely to have a parent in prison as a white child?

Does it matter that upon their arrest two-thirds of male convicts had been their family’s primary earner, that upon their release their annual earnings are cut by 40%, and that half of our prisoners are functionally illiterate? Are things bad enough to cause the Department of Justice to deliberately massage their own prison data, and effectively remove prisoners of mixed-race half-black half-white parentage from their statistics entirely?

machinehead's picture
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Joined: Mar 18 2008
Posts: 1077
Re: Economic Implications of the War on Drugs

Most commentators would date the beginning of the War on Drugs to 1970, when the federal Controlled Substances Act was passed and signed by President Nixon.

The Rockefeller Drug Law was a particularly harsh and cruel statute which applied only in New York State.

California's vote today on legalizing cannabis will be a critical gauge of public opinion on the matter.

SteveW's picture
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 21 2010
Posts: 490
Re: Economic Implications of the War on Drugs

Some commentators believe that Nixon's War on Drugs was a euphemism for a War on Blacks or as Nixon would say a method to "fcxk the nxggxrs".

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